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Medical physiological simulator including a conductive elastomer layer
7857626 Medical physiological simulator including a conductive elastomer layer
Patent Drawings:Drawing: 7857626-10    Drawing: 7857626-11    Drawing: 7857626-12    Drawing: 7857626-13    Drawing: 7857626-14    Drawing: 7857626-15    Drawing: 7857626-16    Drawing: 7857626-17    Drawing: 7857626-18    Drawing: 7857626-19    
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(28 images)

Inventor: Toly
Date Issued: December 28, 2010
Application: 10/718,492
Filed: November 20, 2003
Inventors: Toly; Christopher C. (Seattle, WA)
Assignee:
Primary Examiner: Thai; Xuan M
Assistant Examiner: Musselman; Timothy
Attorney Or Agent: Anderson; Ronald M.
U.S. Class: 434/267; 434/262
Field Of Search: 434/118; 434/262; 434/263; 434/264; 434/265; 434/266; 434/267; 434/268; 434/269; 434/270; 434/271; 434/272; 434/273; 434/274; 434/275; 434/307R; 434/308; 434/362; 434/365; 600/407; 307/116; 178/18.05; 714/742
International Class: G09B 23/28
U.S Patent Documents:
Foreign Patent Documents: 646538; 4212908; 0 601 806; 0 217 689; 2 277 826; WO 93/14483; WO 93/16664; WO 93/21619; WO 94/25948; WO 98/58358; WO 01/32249
Other References: Catalog, Everest Medical Corporation, Minneapolis, MN, 1994. cited by other.
Catalog, Advanced Surgical, Inc., Princeton, N.J., early as Apr. 1996. cited by other.
Limbs & Things Ltd. Brochure, Bristol, England, 18 pp. 1996. cited by other.
"Product News," Limbs & Things Newsletter, 4pp. 1995. cited by other.
"The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" Target material. Kaman Measuring Systems, 2004, 3pages. <http://www.kamansensors.com/html/technology/technology-tntargetmateri- al.htm>. cited by other.
"Variable Impedance Transducers". Kaman Measuring Systems, 2004, 2 pages. <http://www.kamansensors.com/html/technology/technology-variable.htm&g- t;. cited by other.
"Differential Impedance Transducers" Kaman Measuring Systems, 2004, 2 pages. <http://www.kamansensors.com/html/technology/technology-differe- ntial.htm>. cited by other.
"A Low-Power Hall-Effect Switch." Sensors Magazine, Jun. 1999. Christine Graham, 2 pages Allegro MicroSystems, Inc., USA <http://www.allegromicro.com/techpub2/3210papr.htm>. cited by other.
"Giant Magnetic Resistive Potentiometers with Strong Potentialities." (CORDIS focus, No. 45, Oct. 2003). 2pages. <http://www.sensorsportal.com/HTML/Potentiometers.sub.--Projects.htm&g- t;. cited by other.
"Non-contact Thread Detection." (Sensor Applications, Application Story, Mar. 2002). 2 pages. <http://www.sensorland.com/AppPage049.html>. cited by other.
"The Hall Effect." How they Work, How Sensors Work--HART Protocol. Sep. 22, 2004. 2 pages. <http://www.sensorland.com/HowPage046.html>. cited by other.
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Abstract: Conductive elastomeric circuits are used in various simulated physiological structures such as tissues and organs, enabling feedback to be provided indicating whether a simulated task is being performed correctly. For example, a surgical trainer has a simulated human tissue structure made of an elastomeric composition, at least one reinforcing layer of a fibrous material, and at least one flexible electrical circuit. The surgical trainer preferably includes multiple areas for practicing surgical skills, each with evaluation circuits for providing feedback regarding that skill. Conductive elastomers are also incorporated into other types of medical training simulators, to similarly provide feedback. In another embodiment, a simulated organ has a conductive elastomeric circuit in the periphery of the simulated organ, enabling feedback to be provided to evaluate whether a person is properly manipulating the organ in response to a manual applied pressure.
Claim: The invention claimed is:

1. A physiological training and evaluation simulator suitable for training and testing personnel, comprising: (a) a simulated physiological structure; and (b) anevaluation circuit including a conductive elastomer, the conductive elastomer enhancing the realism of the simulated physiological structure, the conductive elastomer being configured as a portion of the simulated physiological structure, said evaluationcircuit being configured to conduct an electrical signal from a chemical sensor disposed in the physiological training and evaluation simulator when the sensor detects a chemical in the physiological training and evaluation simulator; (c) a processorcoupled to the evaluation circuit and configured to determine if a quantity of the chemical administered in a simulated procedure and detected by the chemical sensor is sufficient to trigger a simulated physiological response; and (d) a physiologicalcontrol element configured to produce a simulated physiological response in the simulated physiological structure, the physiological control element being coupled to the evaluation circuit so that the processor uses the evaluation circuit to control thephysiological control element based on input from the chemical sensor.

2. The physiological training and evaluation simulator of claim 1, wherein the conductive elastomer comprises a conductive carbon dispersed in an elastomeric matrix.

3. The physiological training and evaluation simulator of claim 1, wherein the conductive elastomer comprises a metallic powder dispersed in an elastomeric matrix.

4. The physiological training and evaluation simulator of claim 1, wherein the evaluation circuit is implemented in three dimensions.

5. The physiological training and evaluation simulator of claim 4, wherein the evaluation circuit is implemented as a three-dimensional grid.

6. The physiological training and evaluation simulator of claim 5, wherein the three-dimensional grid encompasses a majority of the simulated physiological structure.

7. The physiological training and evaluation simulator of claim 1, wherein the physiological control element comprises at least one of a servo and a pump.

8. A medical training simulator suitable for medical skills training and evaluation, the medical training model comprising a simulated physiological structure and an evaluation circuit including a conductive elastomer, the evaluation circuitincluding a first conductive segment and a second conductive segment separated by a non conductive segment such that they are not electrically coupled to each other, the first conductive segment and the second conductive segment being part of thesimulated physiological structure, said evaluation circuit being configured to provide data related to proper execution of a simulated medical procedure being performed using the simulated physiological structure when the non conductive segment isremoved and the first conductive segment and the second conductive segment are coupled together during the simulated medical procedure, thereby completing the evaluation circuit and enabling the evaluation circuit to provide the data related to theproper execution of the simulated medical procedure.

9. The physiological training and evaluation simulator of claim 8, further comprising an indicator coupled to the evaluation circuit, such that in response to the signal the indicator provides an indication relating to the performance of thesimulated procedure.

10. The physiological training and evaluation simulator of claim 9, wherein the indicator comprises a light source, light emitted by the light source providing feedback regarding the performance of the procedure.

11. The physiological training and evaluation simulator of claim 9, wherein the indicator comprises a meter, a change in the meter providing feedback regarding the performance of the procedure.

12. The physiological training and evaluation simulator of claim 8, wherein the simulated physiological structure is a simulated human tissue structure.

13. The physiological training and evaluation simulator of claim 12, wherein the simulated human tissue structure comprises: (a) at least one simulated membranous layer comprising at least one elastomeric layer; and (b) at least one simulatedsub-membranous layer comprising at least one elastomeric layer underlying a first membranous layer.

14. The physiological training and evaluation simulator of claim 8, wherein the physiological training and evaluation simulator comprises a surgical trainer, and the simulated physiological structure comprises at least one of a simulated humantissue structure and a simulated organ included in the surgical trainer.

15. The physiological training and evaluation simulator of claim 14, wherein the surgical trainer comprises: (a) at least one simulated structure corresponding to an internal anatomical structure of a human body; (b) an exterior coverencompassing a substantial portion of the surgical trainer, the exterior cover having at least one predefined opening defining an operative site, so that each opening is disposed adjacent to a different structure, to facilitate access to said structure; and (c) the simulated human tissue structure is incisable, and is disposed proximate to each predefined opening, such that access to said at least one structure via the adjacent predefined opening requires making an incision in said simulated humantissue structure, an exterior surface of each simulated human tissue structure being substantially flush with respect to an outer surface of the exterior cover, each simulated human tissue structure being removable to be replaced after use, saidsimulated human tissue structure comprising a plurality of layers, said plurality of layers generally corresponding to layers of tissue found in a human being at a location corresponding to the operative site, and at least one of the plurality of layersincluding the conductive elastomer.

16. A medical training simulator suitable for medical skills training and evaluation, the medical training model comprising a simulated physiological structure and an evaluation circuit including a conductive elastomer, the evaluation circuitincluding a first conductive segment and a second conductive segment separated by a gap, such that they are not electrically coupled to each other, the first conductive segment and the second conductive segment being part of the simulated physiologicalstructure, said evaluation circuit being configured to provide data related to proper execution of a simulated medical procedure being performed using the simulated physiological structure when either the first conductive segment or the second conductivesegment are repositioned and placed in contact with either the other of the first conductive segment or the other of the second conductive segment during the simulated medical procedure, thereby completing the evaluation circuit and enabling theevaluation circuit to provide the data related to the proper execution of the simulated medical procedure.
Description:
 
 
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